Mike Cameron got up on the podium with Theo today and tried on his Red Sox jersey for the very first time. The number on the back? Good old #23.
Yes, 23... the number worn by three Red Sox players last season alone. Of course, Julio Lugo had worn the number since he joined the team in 2007 (Alex Cora generously switched to 13 so Lugo could have his preferred number), and when he was shipped to St. Louis, Adam LaRoche donned the uniform. (What? You don't remember LaRoche? He was with Boston for exactly six games, and by a weird stroke of chance, I was at Fenway for his one and only home run with the team, against Baltimore on July 25th.) LaRoche got flipped to Atlanta shortly thereafter, and speedster Joey Gathwright ended the season in jersey #23.
Let's hope that Cameron has more sucess and/or staying power than the last three guys to wear the number. According to Boston.com, Cameron has not played a corner outfield position since "his collision with Carlos Beltran in 2005," but has indicated his willingness to play in front of the Green Monster.
As we all know, Jacoby Ellsbury is able to play all three outfield positions without issues, which we saw in 2008 when he was platooning with Coco Crisp, but it makes sense that coaches would want to sit down with the two of them to discuss how best to work things out. This also begs the question: what about Jeremy Hermida? Perhaps given Cameron's age (37 next month), and JD Drew's injury history, Hermida will be a bench guy, though he seems to need more everyday seasoning to realize his potential, so he could also be used as trade bait.
All in all, I like the Cameron signing, even though it's looking more and more like Jason Bay will be playing in Queens, or, at the very least, not in Boston. Somehow, we need to get some of that power back, and Theo has apparently (again, according to Boston.com) been dropping hints that it's "easier to obtain a bat than a pitcher during the season, so that could be an indication that he's willing to wait to make another significant move."
Here's hoping that "significant move" comes in the way of Adrian Gonzalez, and that it happens well before the trade deadline. Perhaps Theo wants to wait and see how the John Lackey signing pans out before dealing Clay Buchholz, or Jed Hoyer wants reassurance that Clay can continue his run of success at the major league level (7-4, 4.21 ERA in the latter half of 2009) before trading a franchise player away for him?
Either way, all of this Hot Stove Action has not been conducive to my studying (it's finals week), but I'm still a fan of it. Check back later today or tomorrow for an entry on John Lackey, while I don't study enough for my American Presidency exam (sorry, Professor).